Hack your way into the ‘Panama Peppers’

We all love the glitz and glamour of Star restaurants and wish to experience the royalty everyday right? But sadly our wallet doesn’t agree with us. Dining in a star hotel for a middle class family comes with one month of proper planning, training, surpassing the ‘let’s go only on anniversaries’ talks and more…That’s when Mangal Dalal and Natchiket Shetty, two Mumbai based chefs brought life to the idea of ‘Restaurant Week India‘ which is a celebration of the finest gastronomical experiences at high-end restaurants across major cities in India for an unbelievable price. In simpler terms, you get to eat a RWI ( Restaurant Week India) special menu in a fine dining restaurant at a fraction of the original price. You are welcome.


Restaurant week India, 2016 sponsored by our very own Ola kick started successfully on Friday, 22 April and will end on Sunday, 1 May. It features over 100 restaurants across India ( 13 in Chennai). All the restaurants have a special set menu for a week priced at Rs. 750+tax for lunch and Rs.900+tax for dinner. ( UH-MAZING right?) The 13 restaurants in Chennai are unbelievably ‘posh’ and I was so excited to see the below mentioned on the list :

  1. Ayna – Hilton
  2. Benjarong – Alwarpet *
  3. Beyond Madras at the Dining room- Park Hyatt
  4. Dakshin- Crowne Plaza
  5. Focassia-  Hyatt regency* ( Click to read Mister Madras’s review )
  6. Golden Dragon- Taj Coromandel* (click to read Divya’s experience)
  7. Jamavar – The leela palace*
  8. Lotus- The Park ( Click to read Muskaan’s review )
  9. On the rocks – Crowne Plaza
  10. Prego – Taj coromandel
  11. Salt.Co.531- Radisson Blu
  12. Teppan- Alwarpet
  13. The Flying Elephant – Park Hyatt*
    * denotes my personal recommendations.

When I was invited among 12 other elite bloggers for a preview lunch, I was ecstatic. I chose Benjarong not because everything else was already taken but because Benjarong had been in my wish list from the time I stepped into Chennai and it was high time that I went there.


Benjarong is the mother of Thai food in Chennai. It is located in the famous TTK road and shares its space with two other eateries.We were graciously welcomed by Mr.Mani, the manager of the place and he got us a private space to sit.The dim lighting, subtle Thai music, the lemon grass scent gave us a comfortable vibe and we were ready to ‘Fine dine’.

We were served their RWI special menu for vegetarians ( Click here for the menu ) and got a glimpse of the non vegetarian items as well. here is a list of what we had :


1. Mian Khum ( complimentary for all)


Peanuts, chillies, roasted coconut shavings, onion, ginger and Mian khum sauce wrapped in Spinach leaves does justice to the phrase – ‘BURST OF FLAVOURS’.


2. Summer cooler


Tender coconut water mixed with mint leaves, lemon squeeze and honey. This is THE PERFECT drink for summer. It was so refreshing and the honey gives a unique kick. (This doesn’t come with the RWI menu)

3. Veg Appetizers (choice of any two )

Since we came here for the purpose of reviewing, we got to try everything in small portions but generally, each person gets to select any two appetizers from the menu and if you come with 1-2 people more, you get to try all.


Vegetarian appetizers consist of Tofu in Pandanas leaves, grilled veg satay, Crispy corn patties with cucumber relish and Baby corn Tartlets.

My top two favourite appetizers were:


Crispy corn patties tastes SO good and tastes even better with the sweet chilly sauce.



Gulp the crunchy, sweet and spicy beauty down in one bite. FYI, Baby Corn Tartlets is one of Benjarong’s most popular vegetarian appetizers


4. Non Veg appetizers ( choice of any two)

Non veg appetizers consisted of Chicken Satay, Fish garlic and pepper, Chicken and water chestnuts in rice tartlets, Crispy Beef in Tender peppercorn sauce.

5. Soup ( choice of any one)

Thai coconut cream VEG soup. I’ve tasted a similar version of this soup in another place and I didn’t like it at all. So when they brought this to our table, I was super skeptical but this changed my perspective. SO YUMMY. MY GOD!


Clear soup with Tofu and greens. Not as great as the coconut cream soup.


Glass noodle soup with chicken dumplings ( NON VEG)

6. Salads ( choice of any one)

Glass noodle Salad with vegetables. JUST PICK THIS! You will love it.

They have assorted mushroom salad and raw mango salad as choices for the non vegetarians.


7. Main course & staples(choice of any two )

Glass noodles with vegetables and mixed peppers. MY FAVOURITE SAVOURY DISH OF THE DAY.


Jasmine rice ( staple) with Vegetables and pea brinjal in Thai curry ( main course) is a good combination.


Stir fried vegetables. Tastes decent.

 8. Desserts ( choice of one)

Water chestnuts in coconut milk. One of the best desserts I’ve had in a pan Asian restaurant. Don’t scroll down for more dessert choices. This is THE BEST!

The Chef, Mr. Ram Kumar was so Jovial and he explained his dishes so beautifully. After dining in Benjarong, I have gotten a new perspective of Thai food and would recommend it to both my vegetarian and non vegetarian friends.

When I asked why Benjarong is a little pricey compared to other stand alone pan asian restaurants in Chennai, the Chef replied,’ Benjarong is so authentic that we import the signature ingredients directly from Thailand and hire master chefs from all over the world. We are direct competitors of several 5 star restaurants and we price our dishes to satisfy all types of people. We don’t compromise on our quality and that’s why we are the only stand alone restaurant in a list filled with 5 star hotels’.

Generally, for all the above mentioned dishes, it would cost 1000-1200 per person but RWI is a great opportunity for people to dine in Benjarong for much lesser cost.


Click here
Click here

or visithttp://restaurantweekindia.com/rwi/RWC_APR_2016 to book your table for any of the 13 participating restaurants. BOOK NOW AND YOU GET A CODE WHICH CAN BE USED FOR A FREE OLA PRIME RIDE TO AND FROM YOUR DESTINATION.


Don’t think so much, go for a royal lunch/dinner with your family and friends this weekend.

Happy eating!  Burrp!! (subtle placement of our online sponsor) ( sorry not sorry)

Benjarong Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

2 thoughts on “Hack your way into the ‘Panama Peppers’

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s